London, UK (December 9, 2019)—Releasing its 32nd album and embarking on a 50th anniversary tour that culminated in a sold-out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall in November, UK space rockers Hawkwind carried an Allen & Heath dLive mixing system to every stop on the itinerary.
With special guests including Eric Clapton and Motörhead’s Phil Campbell joining the band on stage along the way, the tour saw longtime Hawkwind FOH engineer Rik Elliss behind the dLive surface.
“When an audience is as engaged as Hawkwind’s and they really know the records inside out, it’s very important to create a live experience for them, rather than a generic mix,” Elliss noted.
Accordingly, he used a variety of the desk’s feature to make that happen. “I’ve been an Allen & Heath fan for many years and the dLive is my go-to system these days,” he noted, “both for my own engineering duties and for my rental company, Audioworx. For this tour, I’ve been using the S5000 surface with a DM64 MixRack at FOH. The MixRack is also fitted with a Dante card, which is used for recording several of the shows.”
A sizable band with a think sound to match, Elliss had his hands full mixing the group, but used various features of the desk to corral everything where it needed to go. “I’ve got 11 channels of keys which all need to be heard, five channels of screaming guitars, a pretty distorted bass guitar, 11 channels of drums and four vocals to deal with,” he said. “Trying to get the vocals to sit on top of this very mid-range heavy music is a challenge. The dLive is great at keeping sounds separate and distinct, and that separation really helps with adding clarity to the mix, which is something that’s incredibly important, particularly in a venue as iconic as the Royal Albert Hall.”
Some of that effort was tacked with the dLive’s onboard effects: “Tap delay is integral to my mix and I use the vocal and snare plate presets to recreate the sound of the records. The compressors – particularly the 16T on drums and Opto compressor on keys – are also invaluable both for getting a sound and controlling the mix.”
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